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Sony’s HT-S40R 5.1 system is an affordable home cinema upgrade

Sony has announced the HT-S40R, a 5.1 channel surround sound system that features wireless rear speakers.

With everyone at home (though hopefully that will change soon), there’s a need to upgrade potentially rather dusty and old surround sound systems.

Sony’s latest is the HT-S40R (£349 / €389), a combination of a soundbar, subwoofer and wireless rear speaker channels that aim to produce a room-filling sound. There’s no Dolby Atmos on the table if you’re wondering, with the system supporting Dolby Audio instead. If you are in the mood an immersive surround system, you should have a look at our list of the best Dolby Atmos soundbars.

Total power output is rated at 600W, so this is capable of making a big noise with its extra speakers – more so than the HT-G700 Atmos/DTS:X soundbar from 2020.

The benefit of going wireless means fewer cables, so there’s less trailing wires to trip over in your living room making for a more convenient system. It does look as if the rear speakers are not battery powered and need plugging as they’re driven by a wireless amplifier, so it looks like there needs to be a bit more space for an extra box.

There’s synergy with Sony BRAVIA TVs as audio from a compatible TV can be sent to the home cinema system over a wireless connection. The design is also meant to complement Sony’s recent TVs with a slim, compact main bar and unobtrusive subwoofer and wireless rears. It sounds as if a space-saving design is high on the list of priorities. The soundbar, rear speakers and wireless amplifier also support wall-mounting.

Connections amount to HDMI ARC (no eARC listed), optical, USB and analogue input connections. With the HT-S40R there’s Bluetooth support too, so the music can be wirelessly streamed from a mobile device.

The HT-S40R also features 4 listening modes in Cinema, Music, Standard and Auto Sound. Night and Voice modes are also included and there’s the ability to tinker with the sub’s volume control.

The Sony HT-S40R model will be priced at £349 / €389 and available to buy from May 2021. Check out our list of the soundbars to view the best options at any price.

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